What is happening in the US has been going on for years. To me, it began with Reagan, who made comments that turned people against their own government. He was elected with the support of rich businessmen to cut a lot of regulation. He also was a smooth talker who was able to convince poor and middle class white people that the government was wasting money on “welfare queens,” who those people understood were Black people.
Beginning the the 90s and accelerating in this century, mostly due to advances in technology, the world has been changing very quickly, and constantly. It’s not going to stop. The institutions that created values, such as churches, network television, schools, the government, newspapers, celebrities, police,and politicians, have lots their influence. There is now a vast array of opinions coming from people who are experts, and others who think they are. It is often very difficult to tell the difference.
These technological changes have disrupted almost every industry. It is very difficult to name a company that will exist and still be powerful in ten years. Everything can be displaced and replaced. That means that jobs are either uncertain or already gone. Workers have been replaced by AI, robots, computer programs or cheap labor overseas.
Many people, especially those who sat in the “front row” have benefitted from these changes. They are in technology, finance, biotech, sophisticated military equipment and other industries that require a lot of education, or a lot of marketing savvy. These people live mostly on the coasts and in big cities. They went to elite universities and think highly of themselves, and talk and do business mostly with each other.
Many of the people who live in smaller, crumbling cities in the middle of the country, or in rural areas are not doing as well. Many people who did not go to college at all, or who have some college, but did not get a sophisticated education and do not have helpful connections are struggling, and they feel a lot of anxiety about the future. They see that gap between themselves and those in the “front row,” is growing wider every day and they are resentful.
Boisterous, bragging, captivating, provocative Trump comes along and takes aim and the elites. The back row people love it.
The problem is that Trump is not for them, he is for himself. He has no real idea of how to do what he promises, or any realization of how destructive his promises will be. He also has a very tenuous idea of what truth means. And he has no guiding morals or values except to be ostentatiously rich and famous. He was a terrible, vindictive, racist, often fraudulent businessman, who was never accountable to anyone. He would love to be Putin, but he isn’t smart enough.
Hillary is what she was designed to be. Very competent, very informed, very knowledgable. She does not have the charm of her husband or the wit and charisma of Obama. Also, being a woman makes it all that much more difficult. She would love to help people, but is having difficultly connecting with them because she is just competent and follows the rules, and does her job right. She doesn’t work the way men do, which is to be sloppy, a bit dishonest, a bit exploitive, wheeling and dealing with slightly unethical favors, and then letting everyone getaway with things with a wink and a nod (except of course, for Black people). Therefore, she makes a lot of men uncomfortable, partly because her way is to hold men accountable, and that’s not really how a lot of business has been done for years.
Hillary will win if the press really highlights how much Trump lies, and how incompetent he is. The scrutiny of him is really just beginning. He is already starting to resist and target the press. Hillary needs to do exactly the opposite. She has to be unfailingly honest. She has to admit her faults. She has to go to oppressed areas and “feel their pain” in whatever Hillary way she can. She also has to be strong enough to call out every lie that Trump tells, and to point out how crazy and unrealistic his policies are.
The debates could be a turing point. Trump is already beginning to say he is being treated badly by being asked to explain himself. If he gets cornered it could be ugly; even uglier than it’s been.
Most Trump supporters are not idiots or racist ( well, no more than 80% of Americans), they are angry and left behind. They have been lied to and ignored. They need to be considered and listened to. Trump is expressing their anger, but he doesn’t listen to anyone. He doesn’t really understand anyone’s pain. He’s just an excellent huckster.
Hillary still needs to convince people that she does not stoop to care.
Thanks for the post, it shows you’ve been listening.